In last year’s Practically Perfect PA reader’s survey I asked you lovely lot “What area of your role do you think you need to learn more about?”. Business travel was a pretty clear winner. From this Assist Travel was born. We ran our first conference and exhibition for business travel booking assistants last September and I’m very excited to announce that we will be running Assist Travel again this year. It will be held in London on the 9th September.
The aim of Assist Travel
The aims of Assist Travel are three fold. Firstly, to reduce the amount of money that you guys spend on business travel. At the end of this conference attendees will have the knowledge and the connections to greatly improve their business travel processes and procedures. This knowledge can be transferred into savings for your organisation.
Secondly, it is to reduce the amount of time that Assistants spend on booking travel, in the hope that it will free up time for Assistants to spend on much more interesting projects. As Amy Smith, Executive PA, at Skyscanner explains: “After realising that I spent nearly all of my time organising business travel for my Executive (a massive 24 days per year) I met with senior staff at Skyscanner to see if I could work on a project that would reduce the amount of time all Assistants spent on organising trips. At the end of the project we reduced the time from 24 days per year to 4.5 hours! A huge efficiency for the business.”
And finally, we want to impart the knowledge that ensures your Executive has the best possible experience while travelling on business. We want this to be measurable, easy to manage, more enjoyable and relaxing for you and your Executive.
Why should you attend Assist Travel?
Choosing a supplier for your office is not easy, particularly when it comes to business travel. There are so many options and the prices range from budget to, shall we say, extravagant! Assistants have to navigate their corporate travel policy while ensuring their Executives have a smooth business trip while relying on suppliers to make that happen. At Assist Travel you will meet with travel suppliers who anticipate your needs, network with like-minded assistants and learn from travel professionals who understand the industry inside and out.
What are the key themes?
I know that a day out of the office for assistants is precious and finding the time to attend an event is difficult but as most of us organise business travel for our Executives and our colleagues we have to stay up to date on this area of our role.
With the introduction of low cost airlines, business travel changed forever. Over recent years the introduction of cost effective ground transportation has further increased the options available to Assistants. Accommodation is currently undergoing a similar revolution with the growth of the sharing economy (Airbnb etc.) All of the changes have been underpinned by technology and a shift in business habits.
During the full day conference programme we will support Assistants to navigate the increasingly complicated world of business travel. We will focus on three key themes:
- How they can streamline their business travel processes
- How they can save their organisations money and
- How they can improve the business travel experience for their Executive
Who will exhibit?
When it comes to the travel industry there is so much choice. How do you know which airline to fly with, which hotel to book and which travel management company to rely on? Assistants can often make decisions based on very little information, especially if their Executive is travelling to a far flung destination without much notice. Our suppliers know these are the predicaments faced by assistants. They will be at Assist Travel to show you how their products can help. With a select group of 15 exhibitors attending Assist Travel we will ensure that you are not bombarded by sales folk.
Book your place
As hard as it is to get out of the office I also know it is pretty difficult for assistants to receive funding for training courses. This is why the early booking price for Assist Travel is only £100+VAT.